The Hollywood Reporter reports:
Catching Fire is catching a new writer.
Francis Lawrence is officially on board to direct the movie, stepping into the chair vacated by Gary Ross, who helmed the $600 million-grossing first installment in the franchise.
The sequel is barreling toward a late-summer production start. While Lionsgate doesn’t yet have a deal with Arndt, if he signs on, he will have to work double-time to get the script ready due to a squeezed schedule caused by star Jennifer Lawrence’s commitment to Fox’s X-Men: First Classsequel. That tight schedule was one reason Ross declined to take on the project.
Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) wrote the initial drafts of the script, based on the best-selling Suzanne Collins novel.
Arndt, repped by Verve, also worked on Order of the Seven, Disney’s upcoming internationally themed action movie.
(Source: The Hollywood Reporter)